KwaZulu Natal DestinationsGreyville, Durban
Say the suburb name ‘Greyville’ to the average Durbanite, and you will discover it is virtually synonymous with the Durban July and Durban’s first and longest running sports venue - Greyville Racecourse.
The Durban July is comparable to Britain’s Royal Ascot - high fashion, exciting horse racing, food, champagne and a lot of people. And you don’t even have to know all that much about horse racing to enjoy the festivities. The race was first held in July 1897 with only seven horses and today it is one of the highlights of the horse racing calendar.
The Botanic Gardens, just a short stroll from here, is Durban’s oldest natural attraction and renowned for some of the finest collection of botanic species anywhere in Africa - some of the exotic trees are now huge; and drinking tea, accompanied by the sound of birds on a hot day, leaves visitors feeling refreshed and revitalised.
Every so often concerts are held on Sunday evenings, for example the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra or visiting stars like Chris de Burgh, when the audience flocks to the Gardens armed with picnic baskets, wine, blankets and chairs to enjoy the open air recitals in Durban’s wonderful climate.
In the evening, head off towards Windermere Road and 9th Avenue and you’ll notice that Greyville has experienced something of a revival in the way of food. Bustling cafes, bars and restaurants that serve all types of fusion and Mediterranean fare, like Bean Bag Bohemia and 9th Avenue Bistro, serve food made by award-winning chefs in unpretentious and comfortable surrounds, with a real cosmopolitan flair.